One of the coolest parts of living in Sosabeol is that we’re doing exactly what we’d hoped to do when we first moved here. We’re making friends with our neighbors and friends who live in the city – outside of the military’s American bubble – and we’re having the opportunity to share adventures with them. Our friends from our apartment complex took us to the Valley a few weeks ago, and we had the time of our lives. So, we invited them to experience one of our favorite things with us, and we took them hiking Baebang Mountain Loop near Asan-si, Chungcheongnam-do.
Hiking Baebang Mountain Loop Near Asan
Truth be told, we were pretty sure that Celly and Bob would never want to do anything with us again after a hike, but we hoped they’d enjoy the experience with us since our families get along so well. Baebang Mountain Loop is near Asan, and it’s about a 45 minute drive without traffic. With traffic, it took us just over an hour, but it was well worth it. We’ve discovered hiking in Korea is a little different than hiking in the US in that AllTrails doesn’t align with Waze or Naver, so we either have to chance Apple Maps’ directions from AllTrails, or we have to trust pins from prior hikers.
We tried Apple Maps this time, and it was abysmal. So, I made a point of dropping a pin in Naver to be able to better pinpoint the parking lot of Baebang Mountain Loop for others because, otherwise, you’ll end up like our little group…in two parking areas about 4 miles apart. We managed to connect after some finagling though, and off we went.
Like most of the Korean hikes we’ve done thus far, Baebang Mountain Loop is well-maintained, but it is vertical. While it’s not a long hike, it’s a climb, and it was a pretty steep ascent. About 3/4 of the hike consisted of stairs, and it was definitely a butt-burner. Our American friends from quarantine came with us, too, and both Ryan and Josh ended up packing the girls into the hiking packs after about a half a mile of climbing, simply because the stairs were half their height.
Baebang Mountain Loop is short and steep, but when you reach the top, the views are beyond stunning. With a shady platform and a lookout area, the views of Asan, the dam, the reservoir, the farmlands, and more, are nothing short of spectacular. Needless to say, we spent a good hour (or more) at the top enjoying the views, the company, and the beauty of Korean hiking.
Tips for Hiking Baebang Mountain Loop
Trail Length: Roundtrip, the hike is about 2.5 miles, but we took our sweet time and diverted down to the pagoda on the far end of the trail for an extra bit of mileage.
Level of Difficulty: Moderate; it is a pretty steep vertical climb with a few sections that require scrambling, and there are a lot of stairs.
Cost: Free! There is a parking lot at the base of the hike where we started.
Tips: Use bug spray and sunscreen; while the hike is shaded, there are plenty of sunny spots at the top! To find the parking lot, input the following in Naver or Waze: 배방산길, 아산시